Boom in apartment industry bring boost to local economy

VIDEO: Boom in apartment industry bring boost to local economy

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Major investments from manufacturers like Boeing and now Mercedes have created a major impact on another

A new study shows it's in the billions, and the growth isn't slowing down.

"I say it's great," John Farrell, who lives in a complex in West Ashley, said. "I think it's all good for the economy."

Over 25 apartment complexes springing up everywhere in Charleston; a boom in the industry giving a huge economic boost to the area.

$1.4 billion to be exact in 2013 coming from apartment construction, managing those complexes, and money spent from those moving in.

"Today's renter is different than what it was maybe 20 years ago," Michelle Gordon, assistant manager at Sabal Palms Apartment Homes in West Ashley, said. "I think all the people that are coming to Charleston, a lot of them don't know [the area], so they're going to rent an apartment for a year and then they're going to move out and buy a home."

"[It's] less upkeep, it's maintenance free," Jan Rayburn, a community manager at the Springs at Essex Farms complex under construction off Glenn McConnell Parkway, said. "They're able to focus more time on their families and on themselves, and traveling."

"I'd say it's the smartest thing you can do, at least while you're trying to save," Farrell said in response to living in a complex. "That's what I'm trying to do, I'm trying to go to college right now."

Saving money is a huge reason why managers say sometimes it's a benefit to live outside of the downtown area complexes.

"Our rents are going to be lower than downtown Charleston, which will drive people to the outskirts," Rayburn said.

It's not just the economic impact though, in 2013 over 16,000 jobs were supported by this boom.

"It seems like the jobs are expanding now," said Nathaniel Nesbitt, who lives in Hollywood said about the recent boom.

Not only is job creation coming from the construction of the apartment complexes, but also those positions moving to the area.

Mercedes announced last week it plans to build a new assembly plant in North Charleston with 1,300 jobs expected. Boeing continues its expansion with a new production plant, bringing over 2,000 jobs to the area over the next six years, leaving a huge need for places to live.

"It's a thriving industry right now and [when] I look at the's going explode," Rayburn said.

The statewide impact is even more surprising, $6.3 billion dollars and over 68,000 jobs.

Those numbers are expected to increase of the next few years.

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